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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)

TITLE: The Afternoon Storm
By Judy Meyers


I look out of the paint worn window to the fields before me. I feel frightened to know that the effort that my parents and family have made to create those fields, high in wheat and barley, may very well be destroyed in one afternoon. The skies are dark. The wind is howling and I, unafraid of the pending storm, stand speechless as I gaze through the window.

Just a few short months ago, my brothers had plowed the fields that now lay before me. I watched them as they arose early in the morning, gobbled their breakfasts of eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, hot coffee and orange juice. My sisters and I would go to the barn, fetch the eggs, and milk the cows while my brothers made their way to the fields. For weeks, every year, we planned this time of the season for planting I kept remembering the scripture about Jesus going to the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Surely, this was not the same thing in comparison. His joy was much greater. But our bitter time of sowing would surely turn into a celebration when the harvesting began. These fields, newly planted, would give us much grain for our meals, feed for the livestock and market.

How could such a bitter time turn into a sweet experience if the weather produced the storm that was now overhead? My brothers cursed under their breath. They knew how difficult it had been to sow that seed. Now, in one swoop, the fields could lay empty of any provision or profit.

The rains came, the winds blew. I watched from the small window as hail pounded the fields outside. Tears filled my eyes. All of my family’s hard work was gone.

I looked in the eyes of my brothers. Searching each face, around the room, I looked for a glimmer of hope. There was no hope. “Might as well go into town tonight,” said one. “Nothing else to do.”

Just as quickly as the storm came, the sun began to shine. The sky was blue over the mud holes and the pounded wheat fields.

Emerging from the house, my older brothers and sisters were dressed and ready to go to the city. They didn’t mention going to their regular places of entertainment. They were going to church. “Good revival meetin’ is going on down at the church in town,” said one of my brothers. “We’re gonna go see what’s going on there. Hear they do some good singin’.”

Oh they did some good singing all right. That night changed the lives of all my brothers and sisters. Revival had come to our house. Had that storm been drawn away in another direction, my family would not have found the Lord. What had a bitter beginning, now had a sweet ending. My family had lost everything in that storm. There were no more crops to plow or harvest. The only thing they could do was go to the revival meetin’ every night.

Because of that storm, one of my brothers became a minister of the Gospel and the others became good deacons in the church. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes.

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This article has been read 425 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/04/09
I like the rustic voice, absolutely right for the setting.

In the first paragraph, you're both afraid of the storm and not afraid of the storm.

Isn't it wonderful how God turns sorrow into gladness?
Fay Ternan06/04/09
Life's adversity resulting in God's better plan for lives was well portrayed.
diana kay06/04/09
A good well written peice.Thank you
Janice Fitzpatrick06/05/09
Well done. I am so relieved that what could have remained a tragedy of natural circumstances, turned into a sweet awakening of the spirit and soul, praise the Lord. Great job in your believable setting and dialogue. I relaly liked this one. I didn't get mine done in time to send it in for this challenge,sigh.I hope you do well on this as it it is really good. :0)